As a worldwide series of protests in solidarity with Palestine erupt in multiple cities across the globe, the clear distinction between the will of the people and that of militarized fascist states couldn't be more clear. It is pivotal during this time for the Black community to recognize the origins of our oppression and stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people. The genocidal strategies of settler colonial states are not unfamiliar to Black communities, and the source of our oppression is coming from the same systems and institutions. Afro Palestinians are our siblings in the Black diaspora who have consistently been at the forefront of the occupation.
On November 4, people from across the country will gather in Washington, DC for the 15th Annual March to the White House organized by the Black is Back Coalition. Clearing the FOG speaks with Chairman Omali Yeshitela about the theme of this year's march, building an anti-colonial free speech movement in solidarity with peoples who struggle around the world. Yeshitela is one of the Uhuru 3, who are facing 15 years in jail for their activism. Yeshitela speaks about the historic ties between the black and Palestinian liberation movements. Then, Marjorie Cohn, former president of the National Lawyers Guild, joins the program to speak about a new legal brief on the complicity of the United States with Israel in its commission of genocide and other war crimes.
On November 4, freedom-loving people from cities throughout the U.S. will march on the White House, having traveled by plane, train, bus and caravan to make their voices heard at the 15th Annual Black People's March on the White House. In light of the rapidly escalating genocidal war being waged by Israel on the Palestinian people, this year’s Black People’s March on the White House will declare that, “the African, Indigenous, Mexican, Filipino, Cuban, Venezuelan and other oppressed peoples of the world stand together with Palestine in a united front against colonialism, our common enemy.
In December 2022, I took some time off to discern the next steps in my career and found myself at the Door of No Return on Goree Island in Dakar, Senegal. This island was one of the many places in West Africa where enslaved Africans were held in barracoons before being shipped to the Americas. With ancestry from seven West African countries, a few of my Senegalese ancestors likely walked through these doors. As I stood at the doorway staring out to the vast blue-green ocean, my heart was heavy as I pondered the tragedy of millions of Africans being kidnapped, torn from families and homelands, and packed on ships to spend the rest of their lives enslaved. But oddly enough, I also felt triumphant.
In December 2019, President Donald Trump signed into law H.R.2116, also known as the Global Fragility Act (GFA). Although this act was developed by the conservative United States Institute of Peace, it was introduced to Congress by Democratic Representative Eliot L. Engel, then chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and cosponsored by a bipartisan group of representatives, including, significantly, Democrat Karen Bass. The GFA presents new strategies for deploying U.S. hard and soft power in a changing world. It focuses U.S. foreign policy on the idea that there are so-called “fragile states,” countries prone to instability, extremism, conflict, and extreme poverty, which are presumably threats to U.S. security.
A Call To White People: Join The ‘Reparations Contingent’ At The Black People’s March On The White House
On Saturday, November 4, 2023 the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations will hold its 15th annual Black People’s March on the White House raising the demand, “Drop the Charges Against the Uhuru 3!” The Uhuru Solidarity Movement calls on every white person who believes in reparations and justice for African people to get to Washington DC by bus, plane or car and march in the “Reparations Contingent” at this history-making mobilization! Co-sponsored by the Hands Off Uhuru Fightback Coalition, the March is rapidly gaining momentum with a wide range of forces uniting under the leadership of the emerging anti-colonial free speech movement.
Nearly one year ago, on July 29, 2022, the FBI simultaneously conducted a heavily-militarized raid on seven facilities associated with the African People's Socialist Party and the Uhuru Movement in Missouri and Florida. The federal government seized computers, phones and archival material. This was later used to fabricate federal charges against three members, Chairman Omali Yeshitela, Penny Hess and Jesse Nevel. Clearing the FOG speaks with Chairman Yeshitela about the raid and prosecution and the new anti-colonial free speech coalition launched this month. Chairman Yeshitela explains why the coalition is specifically anti-colonial and why this broad movement is necessary to protect our First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly. He also urges everyone to support Black is Back's November 4 March on the White House. For more information, visit HandsOffUhuru.org.
On the first week of spring in 1931, at the nadir of the Great Depression, nine Black teenagers stowed away on a Memphis-bound train scuffled with a gaggle of white youths who took exception to their presence. The Black youths made quick work of their counterparts, heaving all but one, Orville Gilley, from the slow-moving railcars to the grassy knoll below. Gilley would have met the same fate as his friends but by the time the Black youths got to him, the train had picked up considerable speed, and he was hanging perilously from the gondola. Fearing Gilley might fall underneath one of the railcars, two Black teenagers pulled him back to safety and stood down.
Black people who assert their rights to be sovereign and liberated have always been treated as enemies to be silenced or destroyed. Even enslaved people who sought to escape from bondage were labeled as sufferers of “drapetomania.” The effort to pathologize and stigmatize the fight for freedom never ended. To this very day Black liberation is diminished and discredited as being wrong headed or dangerous. The descendants of those who bravely attempted to escape chattel slavery were treated in the same manner. Black radicals such as Paul Robeson, Claudia Jones, and W.E.B. Dubois were destroyed by McCarthyite witch hunts.
Inspired by the Cuban Revolution and the Black Panthers, a clique of poor and working class Puerto Ricans founded the liberation organization, the Young Lords, in Chicago in 1968 and opened its New York chapter a year later. The activists got down to business immediately, creating a free, daily breakfast program for children and testing them for lead poisoning, organizing clothing banks and street patrols to monitor police abuse, and launching inmates’ rights and school reform efforts. In October of 1969, the militants protested abysmal living conditions in East Harlem and the South Bronx by forming a human chain to block traffic at 125th Street and 2nd Avenue, and lining up rows of garbage cans at the entrance to the Triborough Bridge.
We are immersed in the irreversible contradictions of the end of the epoch of U.S. and European capitalist domination to a world in which for the first time in more than five hundred years, the Western world will no longer be in a position to establish the rules and enforce its “order” on a global scale without effective opposition from the 90 % that makes up the rest of global humanity. But the white world is not ready to accept the end of white world supremacy without a fight. Under the leadership of the United States, the U.S./EU/NATO Axis of Domination has demonstrated that it is prepared to use unrestrained, murderous violence, the same tools it deployed to establish its hegemony beginning in 1492 – in order to maintain white civilizational dominance.
From May 29 to June 8, 19 Brazilian Black movement leaders traveled to the US to meet with major international organizations to fight for an end to racist violence. These leaders, all of whom are women or people with diverse gender identities, have over 30 years of experience in Brazilian social movements. The delegates are all part of various groups within the Black Women Alliance to End Violence (Aliança Negra Pelo Fim da Violência), which aims to support “the strengthening of the national and international actions of cis and transgender Black women in their fight to end violence towards Black people.”
On July 29, 2022 the U.S. government initiated a watershed assault on the African Revolution headquartered in the U.S. with an attack on the home of the Chairman of the Black is Back Coalition, Omali Yeshitela, who is also the Chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party and leader of the international Uhuru Movement. This attack went beyond the harassment the anti-imperialist and black liberation movement have come to expect from the U.S. government when its class peace and domestic colonial domination are challenged. The July 29 attack on the African People’s Socialist Party and Uhuru Movement are akin to the massive, murderous attack that centered on the Black Panther Party, but targeted the liberation movement of the 1960s as a whole.
In early May, African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) Chairman Omali Yeshitela, 81, was shackled in handcuffs and leg irons after reporting to the Middle District Federal Court in Tampa for his arraignment in a courtroom packed with supporters. Chairman Yeshitela faces federal charges after a lifetime of organizing dedicated to “the liberation for Africa and African people everywhere.” Penny Hess, 77, and Jesse Nevel, 33, two white people working under the leadership of the APSP also face charges after organizing for decades in the white community for solidarity and reparations to the black community. The “Uhuru 3” are charged with being unregistered “foreign agents” allegedly under the “malign influence” of the Russian government.
Thank you all for joining us as we pay tribute to Chris Che Matlhako, a comrade and friend. I first met him in 2018 at the First International Conference Against US/NATO Military Bases, which was held in Dublin, Ireland. I chaired a panel on the US Africa Command, AFRICOM, and Chris was a participant along with Paul Pumphrey and Ann Atambo. It was my first encounter and only in-person encounter with him, but it was very meaningful to me. It played an important role as I learned more and more about internationalism, especially as it pertains to Africa. This is a small portion of Chris’ remarks for that panel, “There are US bases, compounds, port facilities and fuel burners in 34 African countries, including in regional hegemons Kenya, Ethiopia, and Algeria.